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Rock The Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein

As summer fades into fall, it's the perfect time to dive into this book which is set "down the shore" in New Jersey (as a native Pennsylvanian, I have to use that phrase).

Kate Campbell expects her boyfriend to propose when he takes her to "their" restaurant, but instead he breaks up with her. In a moment of crisis, she quits her job and moves out of their shared apartment.

Kate ends up back in her hometown of Sea Point New Jersey, living with her parents and counting the days until she can return to Manhattan after successfully executing her three-point plan to get her boyfriend back and secure a new job. Kate's next-door neighbor and former classmate, Ziggy, is recovering from the death of his father and business partner. When Ziggy's best friend, Miles, comes home to Sea Point to prove his business savvy to his mother, they share a summer filled with laughter, adventures, and more than its fair share of secrets.

The concept of returning home can be filled with angst, and Beck Dorey-Stein handles this story with grace and good humor. She presents a complex, authentic narrative that ebbs and flows, with characters who leap off the page.

There is such heart in "Rock the Boat" that I cannot recommend it more highly.


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